Queens' School, Bushey

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Queens' School
Established 1969
Type Academy
Headteacher Terence James
Location Aldenham Road
WD23 2TY
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DfE URN 136877 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 1650
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Houses Drake     , Newton     , Auden      and Sutherland     
Publication Focus Magazine
Website www.queens.herts.sch.uk

Queens' School, near Watford, Hertfordshire, is a secondary school and sixth form with academy status. It currently has specialisms in sports and science.


The story of Queens' begins with two schools in Watford in the early 20th century.

Watford Central School was founded in 1912 in buildings in Derby Road vacated by Watford Grammar School for Boys when it moved to its present site in West Watford. In 1950, the central school became a new grammar school on the northwest side of Aldenham Road, Bushey, called Bushey Grammar School. The buildings vacated in Derby road were then occupied by the Central Primary School.[1][2][3]

Alexandra School was founded in 1901 in Judge Street, North Watford. (These buildings later became an annexe to the Watford School of Art.) In January 1966 the school moved to the southeast side of Aldenham road, opposite Bushey Grammar School. The pedestrian underpass under Aldenham Road was built at this time, but the two schools had little interaction. Alexandra School had only three headmasters in its 68-year history.[3]

In September 1969, the two schools were amalgamated to form Queens' School, a comprehensive school spanning a 52-acre (21 ha) site on both sides of Aldenham Road. At the time of the merger, Bushey Grammar had 800 pupils, while Alexandra School had 500 students. A crucial early decision was to extend the pastoral system of Bushey Grammar to the new school, with four houses spanning all year groups, two based on each side of Aldenham Road. This structure has served the school well, and persists to this day.[3]

Grange Park School closed in September 1988, and its pupils transferred to Queens'. The former Grange Park campus became home to Bushey Hall School (now the Bushey Academy).[4]

Queens' was awarded grant-maintained status in April 1993 and became a foundation school in September 1999. In September 2003, the school was designated a Specialist Sports College, and in April 2008 also became a Science College.

In July 2011, Queens' converted to academy status.


The school occupies a relatively isolated suburban campus on both sides of Aldenham Road, in Bushey on the outskirts of Watford in south Hertfordshire. As an amalgamation of two schools, Queens' has two sites named North and South, linked by an underpass. The north side (the former Bushey Grammar site) borders the Bushey Grove Leisure Centre and the Purcell School of Music (formerly the Royal Caledonian School), whereas the south side (the former Alexandra School site) borders the Metropolitan Police sports grounds.


Queens' is a partially selective school, selecting 35% of its intake on academic ability, 5% on aptitude for music and 5% on aptitude for sport. The remaining places are allocated to siblings of current pupils and to applicants living nearest to the school. The catchment area for selective places extends approximately 7 miles (11 km) from the school: in addition to southwest Hertfordshire, it includes some northern parts of the London Borough of Harrow.[5] However 95% of children admitted live within 3 miles (5 km) of the school.[6]

The school is the largest in Hertfordshire.[7]


The school uniform consists of black blazer with a logo/badge of your house colour, white shirt, kilted skirt or black trousers, house tie and optional black jumper. All students are required to wear black shoes. Outdoor coats must be in dark colours i.e. black, dark blue, grey. In the summer, blazers can be taken off but must be worn in all other seasons unless given permission. Years 12 and 13 are not required to wear uniform, but have a dress code. In September 2011 the school introduced a grey tartan kilt for girls and also introduced a new blazer badge.


The school is split into four houses, Drake and Newton based on the north side and Auden and Sutherland based in the south. Students are allocated a house on entry. Each house is typically further subdivided into two or three forms for each year group. Each house has associated colours, which are displayed on ties and school crests as part of the school uniform.

There is a strong identity among students with their house. This was created through inter-house competitions on sports day, a yearly music competition and various other sports related competition throughout the academic year. Furthermore, each house has both a Head of House and Deputy Head of House, who assist with students pastoral care and help get to the root of discipline problems rather than simply giving a student a detention. Additionally sixth formers are very active in school and will help year 7's in their house through the Paired Reading Scheme, the Buddy Scheme and running the inter-house music competition. Also there is a friendly rivalry between houses, which adds to the atmosphere of the school.

The House system was praised by the last Ofsted report in September 2006.[8] The house system is a large part of the reason why this large school does very well, because it makes the school feel like 4 small schools rather than one large one.

Recent achievements

As a Sports College the school has seen an added impetus to the physical well being of students with GCSE PE now a compulsory subject, and has also had a significant financial input due to this designation. The school has performed extremely well at GCSE and A level exams within the last few years. It also runs the BTEC National courses in all its guises with an excellent pass rate within the last two years. The school has now finished the new Sports hall towards the back of the school.

In recent years the school has had some notable successes:

  • National Debating champions in 2005 and 2007
  • English National Golf Champions 2007
  • English Schools FA (ESFA) U19 Football Champions 2008
  • English Schools FA (ESFA) U13 Football Runners up 2008
  • English Schools FA (ESFA) U14 Football Runners up 2009
  • Reached 3 English Schools FA (ESFA) Finals 2011

The school has an increasingly good reputation in the performing arts with many recent excellent productions including Fame and Bugsy Malone.

The school recently received national recognition by winning the 2009 Sports Colleges Award for Innovation for development of the Virtual Learning Environment. (VLE)

Academic performance

GCSE exam results are regularly far above the national average, with outstanding value added figures and the last OFSTED report was very positive about the school.

At A-level the results are also well above average.

Notable former pupils

Bushey Grammar School


  1. Main block at Watford Central Primary School, Images of England, English Heritage National Monuments Record.
  2. "Watford Central School and Bushey Grammar School". Archived from the original on 2012-10-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> nostalgia site.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Queens' School: The first Ten Years, Queens' School, 1976.
  4. Bob Nunn (1987). The Book of Watford: A portrait of our town c1800–1987. Watford: Pageprint. p. 318.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Admission Policy, Queens' School.
  6. Determination: Queens' School, Bushey, Office of the Schools Adjudicator, 23 February 2004.
  7. "Moving On – Applying for a Secondary or Upper School place for admission in September 2011". Hertfordshire County Council. Retrieved 9 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Inspection Report: Queens' School, Office for Standards in Education, September 2006.
  9. "Profile: Mark Oaten". BBC News. 2006-01-21. Retrieved 2009-07-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>